Abta forced to postpone Travel Matters conference

Abta has been forced to postpone its Travel Matters conference in London next week because of the national rail strike.

The association’s annual conference on the political and policy issues affecting travel and tourism was scheduled to take place on Wednesday June 22 at the National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, in central London.

Former home secretary Amber Rudd was due to speak at the event, as was Nikki da Costa, a former director of legislative affairs at 10 Downing Street under both Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his predecessor Theresa May.

Other confirmed speakers included Airlines UK chief executive Tim Alderslade, Airport Operators Association chief executive Karen Dee, RCL Cruises managing director Ruth Marshall and Iata UK country manager Simon McNamara.

Abta is hoping to announce a new date for the Travel Matters conference but has yet to confirm its rescheduling, which is likely to be at the end of the year.

In a statement this afternoon, Abta explained the event had been cancelled “in light of the expected disruption from the rail strikes next week”.

The association noted: “Travel Matters is one of our most high-profile events.

“At the forefront of policy development and political debate in our sector, Abta is the only industry body with the authority to bring together the industry and policy makers in a forum like this, and provide networking opportunities in this area at a senior level.

“With such an important event for members and the industry, we do not want to run the risk of people not being able to attend, nor did we feel a move to an online event only would be welcomed by most delegates.”

Strikes on the railways are scheduled for Tuesday June 21, Thursday June 23 and Saturday June 25 next week, but services on the days in between are expected to be limited and people are advised not to travel unless absolutely necessary.

London Underground workers are also on strike next week on June 21 with disruption expected on the Wednesday morning.

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